‘I did what I could do best... genuine PILs moved me’
"Genuine Public Interest Litigation always moved me... it is difficult to witness common man of this country in difficulties and I always tried to do my task as a judge." With these words, Justice Swatanter Kumar on Friday bid farewell to the Supreme Court as a judge.
Speaking to The Indian Express on the telephone, Justice Kumar shared views on his three-year-long stint as a judge of the apex court and described it as a "learning experience" where he attempted to do his job to the best of his capabilities.
"I did not find any case difficult, emotional or easy. I worked as a judge at the top most court of this country and learnt a lot from lawyers, seniors as well as young. I did what I could do the best. Yes, genuine PILs moved me," he said.
Justice Kumar cited the example of Amarnath Yatra as one of the issues that had "disturbed" him after he saw reports of the death of several pilgrims due to lack of amenities and infrastructure along the Yatra route. In his final judgment on Thursday, Justice Kumar passed a string of directives to various authorities for ensuring improved amenities and health care for the pilgrims.
When asked about his views on the pendency of the matter related to the cleaning of river Yamuna — again a suo motu PIL initiated on the basis of media reports — Justice Kumar said: "I think, it requires a lot of bold steps to improve the situation and clean Yamuna."
On his post-retirement plans, Justice Kumar said he would draw it up as and when the right time comes. "I am satisfied with my tenure as a judge," he added.
Earlier in the day, in his farewell address on the Supreme Court lawns, Justice Kumar called for a better participation of legal professionals in tribunals, quasi judicial bodies and other similar institutions for a more efficacious administration of justice.